I am slowly warming up to having my two boys, ages 3 and 6 use my iPad. It is not that they cannot understand how it works, but that I see all of the things they tear up and choose for my gear not to be one of those items. The iPad has proven to be a wonderful tool for children with the number of learning apps and games. I recently had the opportunity to review Swapsies using my sons as my trusty sidekick reviewers. Let’s see what they thought.
Swapsies is a matching game app for kids three years and older. Users swipe the screen to change hats, shirts and pants to create eight different characters of varying occupations. The application is intended to help develop childrens’ motor coordination and reasoning skills. This is like taking the iPad and paper dolls and meshing them together for an attractive, easy to use and educational experience for young learners. Of course, if the child has already made all eight matches, they can continue playing the game mixing and matching various items to create newly invented occupations.
The app is intended for young users and the UI is designed for the age group. Large buttons, friendly sounds and intuitive navigation make the app easy to use. My three year old, Riley, instantly began playing with the app with no learning curve on how to navigate. As the child chooses the correct clothing to complete a character, a sound indicates a correct match. The name of the occupation appears at the top of the screen along with two musical notes in a green circle. Tapping the notes plays a sound connected to the profession. For example, the police officer will play a siren. The kids seemed to enjoy the audio cues and sounds when getting a match correct. To the left of the occupation name is a list icon. Tapping this brings up a list of what occupations need to be found and which have been completed. On the top left of the screen are a picture of a boy and girl on the wall. Tapping these pictures will bring up the options menu where three boy and three girl characters are able to be chosen. That is pretty much it, which is great. My three year old was able to quickly and easily navigate the entire app without instruction.
Swapsies brings the three things I like most in applications for my kids. It is simple to use, educational and most of all fun. Believe it or not, making an app with all three of those prerequisites, is not an easy task when targeting children three and up. My little helpers enjoyed playing with Swapsies. Riley (3) liked the game the most telling me it was “fun and cool.” He also liked “making silly guys on the iPad.” Riley was able to play with the app for a longer time just giggling the entire time. Peyton (6) also liked the app but was more concerned with finishing the tasks as quickly as possible. He even asked me to time him. Peyton’s only critique was, “I need more levels.” I will have to admit, he and his little buddies have become quite the gamers and are pretty set with passing levels in all of their games. All in all, the application is a big hit with my boys. If you are looking to allow your children to join in on the iPad fun and want an app geared directly for their age, Swapsies is a perfect pick. Go get the app here in the app store for $1.99. There is also a $.99 iPhone application as well as free versions for both devices.
What I like: Easy, fun and educational app for my three year old to use. Awesome design.
What could be improved: Since I have no complaints I will have to say, more levels for Peyton.